What this essentially reflects is how Delhi, the political capital, is slowly becoming the business capital as well. As more companies choose Delhi-NCR as their base, they book ads out of the area.
Satbir Singh, who was once chief creative officer at FCB Ulka in Mumbai and went on to launch Thinkstr, a Gurgaon agency whose focus is on the digital ad space, points out that agencies follow the clients. “Gurgaon can boast of some of India’s biggest spenders today like Airtel, Coke, Pepsi, Nestle, Reckitt Benckiser, Maruti, Samsung, amongst many others.Barring a couple of large ones, most agencies in NCR have moved to the Millennium City ,“ he points out.
Ashish Chakravarty , chief creative officer at Contract Advertising, calls it a huge shift.“When we started out, Mumbai was always the big brother you looked up to. And for us in Delhi, Mumbai was the larger office, the bigger place, what we called the Mumbai office syndrome. Now, for instance, in my agency , Delhi has become our largest office, and I think that’s true for many agencies.“
This is not surprising. According to a global city-wise ranking of GDP done by Oxford Economics, Delhi overtook Mumbai in 2015, with a GDP of $370 billion compared with Mumbai’s $368 billion.By 2030, according to the same study , the gap between the cities will widen -Delhi will have a GDP of $1,040 billion, and Mumbai $930 billion.
But while Delhi-NCR may
dislodge Mumbai in terms of ad spend, the latter remains the preferred location for shooting TV commercials and digital films. Indeed, in Bollywood, the western metropolis boasts an irresistible draw. “Ad films will always be shot in Mumbai simply because of the amount of acting talent in the city,“ says Naveen Gaur, president, Lowe Lintas.
However, Sundar Iyer, a creative consultant who spent around 15 years in Mumbai with the likes of JWT, BBH and Everest and moved to Gurgaon in 2011, is a strong believer in Gurgaon’s potential for new and fresh thinking.“When I came to Delhi-NCR, I saw talent that was very raw.There were no preconceived notions, and there was an element of honesty and truth to the whole scene, which was very refreshing to see,“ says Iyer.
Shivaji Dasgupta, who heads Inexgro, a brand advisory outfit based out of Gurgaon, says, “In terms of business, Delhi-NCR is definitely a faster growing market, with greater opportunities.“ He points to the flight of businesses northwards to set up headquarters, and the e-commercestartup culture that has taken root in the area. “Almost everyone who has come to India to set up manufacturing operations in the last 10-15 years has given Mumbai a miss…. As a natural corollary, the advertising industry also has developed a lot more in Delhi-NCR,“ Dasgupta says.
A good number of agencies now have Gurgaon operations that are larger than their Mumbai operations (but with their HQ still out west).However, the nature of clients differs.